WASHINGTON — Nearly 1,500 economists have signed a letter to President Trump and top congressional leaders stressing the importance of immigrants for economic growth.

The letter sent Wednesday notes that immigrants start businesses, are clustered in math, science and engineering and can offset any economic drag from baby boomer retirements.

It notes that “the benefits that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs, and smart immigration policy could better maximize the benefits of immigration while reducing the costs.”

Six Nobel laureates were among the 1,470 economists who signed the letter.

The signees come from across the political spectrum, including Austan Goolsbee, an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, and Glenn Hubbard, who worked for former President George W. Bush.

Thirteen economists from the faculties of Maine colleges and universities signed the letter, including six from Colby College, four from Bates, two from the University of Maine and one from Bowdoin.

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